Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics, and Politics


Victorian Poetry is a major re-evaluation of the genre by one of the foremost scholars of the period. In a work that is uniquely comprehensive and theoretically astute, Isobel Armstrong rescues Victorian poetry from its longstanding sepia image as a `a moralised form of romantic verse', and unearths its often subversive critique of nineteenth-century culture and politics. For the first time, the aesthetics and politics of Victorian poetry are brought together in a sustained historical discussion. Isobel Armstrong examines its conservative and dissident traditions, and compares the work of familiar middle-class male poets to that of female and working-class poets. Victorian Poetry brilliantly demonstrates the extraordinary sophistication of the genre. At the same time it presents a vigorous challenge to some crucial issues in contemporary Marxist, post-structuralist and feminist criticism. The volume constitutes a landmark in the appreciation and understanding of Victorian literature.

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